Thursday, January 1, 2015

December 31, 2014

Such a high priest truly meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 
Hebrews 7:26
Two Thousand and Fourteen


A year that strengthened our faith through laughter and tears

One etched in our memory for years to come

One that included abundant prayers

We experienced heartache and grief as we heard the horrible news of our son's injury and we 
rejoiced as we watched God heal his wounds. 

We shed tears at the loss of a precious friend gone too soon, and we rejoiced at the 
birth of our first grandson. 

Through the heartache and tears, the rejoicing and smiles, our confidence in THE ONE who led us through every mountaintop and every valley grew stronger and our faith deepened. 

I heard the following quote on the radio today, 
"The greater the love that dwells in a person, the greater the person in whom it dwells." 
(author unknown)

I hope I am a greater person at the end of this year than I was 12 months ago because of the love I shared with others. Thank you, to those who have loved our family 
and shown us the unconditional love of the Lord.
Our lives have been richly blessed through many of you this past year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our growing family

Stay tuned as 2015 will add a few more beautiful faces!

Saturday, December 27, 2014

December 27-Our birthday girl

Words of wisdom from our newest nine year old:                                        

Relax deeply-"you must not do anything, just breathe deeply"

Dream big- "my dream is to become a doctor, have a daughter, have a nice car."

Believe with all your heart- "what I believe: Jesus! I believe I'm going to have a nice, crazy future."

With a birthday only two days after Christmas we typically celebrate with the family earlier and then have a special day with just a few of us on her actual birthday.  So, today started with hot cocoa in mom and dad's bed, along with some interesting conversation and a few good laughs. 
Then, daddy prepared a late breakfast topped with candles and a 
Happy Birthday song that hopefully was not recorded!

After a relaxing day at home, we went to the movie to watch Annie and consume lots of buttery popcorn and soda. Followed by dinner at her favorite place, Panda Express.  
I'm not so sure her use of chopsticks would be acceptable in China, but it certainly gets the job done!
Our evening ended snuggled on the couch, in front of the fire playing games.  It is so hard to believe that our sweet girl has already spent 5 birthdays at home.  It seems like she has always been part of our family. We thank God for every birthday we celebrate as she continues on the journey(in her own words),  to her "nice, crazy future."

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23-Indescribable gift

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV)
Gifts that money can't buy....
A godly husband...
 Best friends....

A Godly mother....
And one of the very best...
A grandbaby to snuggle
This week of Thanksgiving we have so many things for which to 
give Thanks and the greatest gift of all is a Father in 
Heaven who has provided us with grace, mercy, miracles and 
most of all a future glory in Heaven that far outweighs any gift we will ever 
experience on this earth. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 22 - Spending of Ourselves

...if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
Isaiah 58:10

As this cool, rainy day draws to a close I find myself reflecting on a devotion we chose for our family tonight. 

How do we spend ourselves? 

We spend our money....our time...our resources...but how do we spend ourselves?

Something happened to us tonight that I don't remember happening ever before.  After enjoying a nice dinner at On the Border we received our check and were told that someone else had picked up our tab.  What a joy to be on the end of such generosity.  To whomever it was, 
thank you very much!

Last week, I had a precious friend give me a calendar for next year because she heard me say I needed a new one.  I was overjoyed to be on the receiving end of her sweet gift. 

So, I ask myself, do I give away to others the way they have given to me?

"When we begin to invest the resources of our lives into others, the way God has invested himself for us, ...our light begins to shine." (Heartwork devotion)

 Whether it is painting the dull wall in an orphanage to brighten it up for the children,
 or using your voice to sing His praises,
Or taking the time to share the little moments
 or gently caring for a little one, who can't care for himself,
Spending of ourselves is the most rewarding thing we will ever spend!
                     Sometimes spending of ourselves means sharing a victory with those
who look up to you the most.
Congratulations, Lady Eagles on winning state!
You have giving so much of yourselves and we are so proud of you!

But most of all, it requires giving away part of ourselves that we may not realize we had to give,
but when we allow God to mold us, we may have more to give than we ever realized. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18-National Adoption Day 2000

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3: 20-21

Fourteen years seems like such a long time ago and yet it seems like just yesterday. That was the day, that so many of my dreams came true as I became the mom to a beautiful baby girl. One I had longed to call my own and had loved for over a year even though it wasn't official.  Our precious baby girl was placed in our arms October 27, 1999 and officially became our daughter on November 18, 2000.

It was the second annual National Adoption Day and it was one that was celebrated by many around the US.  From the judges, to new parents and every CPS worker present,  there was abundant celebration.  There were stuffed animals, cake, punch, banners, news crews and tears of joy.  I had never before spent so much money on one outfit, but I had to purchase the most precious outfit I could find for our special day.  She was dressed in pink from head to toe and everyone in the family came along to celebrate this special day.  This was truly one of the very best decisions we have every made and one that we thank God for impressing on our hearts.  So many times we don't understand when God doesn't answer our prayers, but if we would just wait,  He often makes it all clear in time.

What I saw as an unanswered prayer, not allowing me to birth a little girl, became a prayer of thanksgiving that was far greater than I could have ever imagined when he blessed me with this little angel.  Foster care and Adoption took a step of faith we couldn't have taken without God and our family, but it was the greatest step we have ever taken and the rewards will continue for generations. 

Her smile is contagious
Her eyes sparkle 
 She lights up a room
 As her mom and dad, we couldn't be more proud of the young lady she has become
both inside and out.  She has a love for the Lord, her family, and friends and she makes our heart overflow with joy!